Zvamaida Murwira, Harare Bureau
Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda yesterday reprimanded Zanu-PF political commissar Saviour Kasukuwere for attempting to initiate a discussion in the Chamber on a Zanu-PF team probing him on a litany of allegations raised by the party’s provinces.
When Cde Kasukuwere made reference to the probe team while responding to a point of order, Adv Mudenda asked him to withdraw the statement and reprimanded him for the behaviour he had shown in the House.
Adv Mudenda, a Zanu-PF Politburo member, led the probe team to Mashonaland Central last week after the province was the first to pass a first vote of no confidence on Cde Kasukuwere, who hails from the province.
All the other Zanu-PF provincial chairpersons, except for Bulawayo, followed suit in passing a vote-of-no-confidence on Cde Kasukuwere, who stands accused of creating parallel structures in a bid to oust President Mugabe and other various allegations of undermining the party.
Trouble for the embattled Cde Kasukuwere started when he walked into the chamber accompanied by Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Patrick Zhuwao in the middle of debate.
He started pacing up and down the Chamber, greeting all Zanu-PF legislators, thereby disturbing debate.
Cde Kasukuwere drew the ire of Adv Mudenda when he made reference to the probe team set up by Zanu-PF First Secretary President Mugabe to investigate him on the numerous allegations.
This was after Adv Mudenda noted that Cde Kasukuwere was acting in an awkward way and demanded an explanation to his actions.
“I want to thank you for that Mr Speaker Sir,” responded Cde Kasukuwere. “But as chairperson of a (Zanu-PF) probe team looking into my case, I will come and greet you as I go out.”
Adv Mudenda was not amused that Cde Kasukuwere wanted to introduce the subject on the Zanu-PF probe team in the House.
“Honourable Kasukuwere, can you withdraw the last part of your statement (on the probe team),” he said.
Cde Kasukuwere duly complied and withdrew his reference to the probe team.
Adv Mudenda was also not happy that Cde Kasukuwere, who is also the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, set out to shake hands with all Zanu-PF legislators when he entered the Chamber, making a spectacle of himself.
After briefly taking his seat, Cde Kasukuwere rose and moved around the Chamber, greeting lawmakers from the Zanu-PF side and caused a scene when he hugged Hurungwe East MP Cde Sarah Mahoka, a departure from shaking of hands he had been doing in respect of other backbenchers.
After completing the greeting of legislators on the two front rows, Minister Kasukuwere went to the back rows where he continued greeting the other legislators, prompting Tafara/Mabvuku MP Mr James Maridadi to raise a point of order.
Minister Kasukuwere left the Chamber before Mr Maridadi had started speaking, resulting in Adv Mudenda calling him back, but he did not take heed.
Buhera South MP Cde Joseph Chinotimba (Zanu-PF) followed him outside to inform him that he was wanted by the Speaker back in the Chamber.
Upon his return, Mr Maridadi questioned why Minister Kasukuwere was behaving awkwardly and why he was greeting Zanu-PF legislators only.
“Is it because he got anointing water from Mudzidzi Wimbo to apply on Zanu-PF MPs?” said Mr Maridadi, drawing laughter from the Chamber.
Adv Mudenda then said he was surprised by Minister Kasukuwere’s conduct.
“You are going around greeting people and that is very unusual,” he said. “I have been here (in Parliament) for a while and I have never seen that happening. May I request that you sit down as you normally do.”